JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update
March 2018
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

There’s nothing like a cold winter to get you ready for spring. The magnolias and cherries have been nothing short of spectacular this year and bulbs are bursting making some amends for the deaths of more than a few plants. Along with the plants popping, our spring programs are in full force. Check out the calendar for a full listingthere’s sure to be something for everyone.

If you're in the mood for plants, make sure to check our on-site daily plant selection by the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center where there are always interesting items from our collections. You can also visit some of our benefit providers for great discounts. A complete current list of nurseries and service providers can be found on our Web site .

See you in the garden.
Send a Child to Camp

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

Want to be part of camp but don't have a camper to send? Send a child to camp by contributing to the scholarship fund!
For the past two years, an amazing group of volunteers has worked to offer scholarships to children in our community to be part of our programs. You can support their efforts by donating to the camp scholarship fund. 
Four full scholarships are offered each year. Two scholarships are for campers to attend our Garden Chefs camp where they learn how to tend their own vegetable garden and cook up delicious recipes with fresh produce. Two more scholarships are available for campers in the Nature Detectives camp where their curiosity and love of the outdoors is nurtured through fun mysteries. Scholarships include a family membership for each camper's family to enjoy during the coming year. Scholarships range from $300 to $345. Any contribution for partial or full scholarship is accepted.  Donations can be made online or by sending donations by mail. To ensure your donation is designated for the scholarship program, please include "2018 camp scholarship" in the memo line of your donation. Please make checks payable to NC Ag. Foundation and mail them to the JC Raulston Arboretum, NC State University, Campus Box 7522, Raleigh, NC 27695-7522. If you have any questions about making a donation, please contact Kathy Field at (919) 513-0264 or kathy_field@ncsu.edu . If you make an online donation, please let Kathy Field know that you made an online contribution towards the scholarship.
In Praise of Sabal minor

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Sabal minor , dwarf palmetto, is native to the coastal plain of the southeast United States from North Carolina south as well as the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and a bit of the way up the Mississippi Valley. It possesses so many positive attributes it borders on being a perfect plant.

As a flood plain native, it tolerates extremes in soil moisture, from standing water during floods and bone dry conditions during extended droughts. It is equally happy in heavy clays as it is in sandy soils and everything in between. Though in the wild it is most often seen in the shade of woodland trees, it also thrives in full sun.

Sabal minor supports both pollinators and birds. The inflorescence extends well above the 3' to 5’ tall foliage. The small white flowers feed many a pollinator and the black fruit that follow are eaten by birds, especially robins when they return in late winter.

It is as an ornamental that Sabal minor really excels. Its 3' to 5’ wide leaves rise heavenward like hands with outstretched fingers splayed as wide as possible; a veritable botanical exclamation points in the landscape. All of these reasons might explain why yesterday I planted eight in my garden at home.
Our Guides Give the Insiders' Story of the Arboretum

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

During one of our Sunday public tours which start up again March 4, a volunteer tour guide never really knows what to expect. How many people will show up? The average tour is 815 people, but if it's a flawless day, up to 50 guests may show up! Some guests are plant enthusiasts, others are just looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon with out of town guests. Whatever the number or reason, we're delighted they're here.

Tour guides give the insider's view of the Arboretum. These 10.5 acres have a lot of stories to tell and our guides are happy to share them. Most likely, there will be a different guide to greet you each week from March to October. The garden and perspective are always changing.

This spring, we will offer a training class for new tour guides to join our team. Guides need to be friendly and have a helpful attitude; able to communicate well with groups and need to be reliable.

Please contact me at kbwall@ncsu.edu or (919) 513-7004 if you would like to receive more information on our tour guide training or any other volunteer opportunities. Or perhaps you'd just like to join one of our free Sunday tours.

Free Public Tours Start March 4
Sunday Afternoons at 2:00 PM
Meet at the Bobby G Wilder Visitor Center
March through October
Spring 2018 Day Trips

By Cheryl Kearns, JCRA Board Member and Volunteer

Come join us on the Arboretum's organized, guided day trips this spring in March, April. and May. As usual, there will be a nursery and buying trip, and tours of both a public garden and a natural area. We hope you can join us for all three of these intriguing selections! The April and May trips involve longer days with lunches in cafes local to the areas we visit. It will be a good idea to bring cameras to all of these sites!

On March 13, we will head to Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill to learn about camellia care, culture, and breeding from one of the experts in the field--David Parks. David has traveled to China and collected species other than the ones with which some of us are familiar. David has a highly esteemed breeding program and is developing some wonderfully colorful and shapely new camellias while also venturing into the wholesale market. Want to know how to make tea? Ask David! You can buy your own tea camellia—and plenty of other camellias and rare plants in his nursery before coming back to Raleigh.

On April 18, we will take a slightly longer trip to Kernersville to the site of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden for a tour with curator Adrienne Roethling. This garden is one that keeps expanding and is a delight to visit year-round with its wide variety of bulbs, shrubs, and trees. Designs include raised beds for vegetables, a sidewalk border that glows even in the winter, and sample gardens the public can adapt, as well as a parking lot that is anything but boring, hot pavement! Join us for this joyful experience and then walk to a café in an old home or to a bistro for lunch, or bring your own.

Rounding out the day trips on May 8 will be a short drive to Triangle Land Conservancy properties in Wake and Johnson Counties. These sites have both interesting geographical features and hopefully ephemeral wildflowers in bloom. We will start with a site known as Temple Flat Rock Preserve and head from there to Flower Hill Nature Preserve, then stop at Bailey’s Café for lunch. If time allows, we will tour a little of the Sarah and Bailey Williamson Preserve at Walnut Hill before heading home. Our guide for this day's trip will be the JCRA's own Andrew Pais, who worked with the Nature Conservancy while studying for his Ph.D.
The Countdown to Spring Is On

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

Many of you are already asking about our spring plant sale and I'm happy to say it will be bigger and better than ever. Mr. Maple , Pine Knot Farms , and Superior Plants Nursery will again join the already fabulous Arboretum plant selection. It is sure to be a plant shoppers haven.

Mark your calendars:

Member Preview Sale
Friday, April 6 – 4:00 PM–7:00 PM

Shop before the sale opens to the public at Raulston Blooms! on Saturday, April 7. Come early, grab a coffee, cupcake or other delicious treat from Buzzy Bakes and take a relaxing stroll through the garden while you wait for the sale to open at 4:00 PM. Please understand we will not be allowing anyone in the plant sale area until it opens at 4:00 PM.

Raulston Blooms!
Saturday, April 7 – 9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Saturday is sure to be filled with festival fun. Shop the plant sale on Friday night and come Saturday to enjoy all this garden festival has to offer: Vote for your favorite birdhouse, enjoy lunch at a food truck, shop local art, and enjoy the gardening talks with Bryce Lane and Mark Weathington.

No worries if you can’t make the sale on Friday evening, you will still get your member discount on Saturday during Raulston Blooms! JCRA members receive a 10% discount on plants bought from the JCRA. And in case you're wondering, members get free entrance into Raulston Blooms! Bring a family or friend. It's the perfect time of year to introduce someone new to the garden.
New Zealand Adventure

By Mark Weathington, Director  

Join me for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the most beautiful country I've visited. New Zealand is filled with sub-tropical landscapes, rugged coastlines, mountains, glaciers, and fjords. It is also filled with some of the most amazing gardens in the world. Highlights of the trip will include both public and private gardens, a trans-alpine train ride to Arthur's Pass, the geysers and hot springs of Rotorua, a day cruise to Milford Sound, and a Maori feast. An optional post-tour extension to Sydney is also available.
Travel dates will be from January 10–24 including flights, cost is $4,999 per person double occupancy (land only) with an optional group flight. If you are interested, check out our Web site for more information or send me an e-mail at mark_weathington@ncsu.edu . Don’t wait though, this is the first announcement for the trip and we already have a handful of people signed up and over a dozen have requested more information—we will definitely sell out early.
Uncovering the Identity of Mystery Plants at JC Raulston Arboretum Using DNA

By Andrew Pais, Ph.D., Database and Plant Records Coordinator

As part of a pilot project coordinated by Andrew Pais, Ph.D., the JC Raulston Arboretum has teamed up with NC State’s Molecular Plant Systematics class taught by Jenny Xiang, Ph.D. The goal of the project is to verify the identity of 21 unknown plants, originating primarily from seed collection trips abroad. Students have achieved this goal by extracting and analyzing DNA, the fundamental material carrying heritable information for all organisms. With only a single leaf available for each collection, students have predicted the identity of each seedling in a matter of days, as opposed to waiting years for germinated seedlings to develop diagnostic fruits and flowers. Come see the fruits of the students' labor at Andrew's first class at the JCRA on Tuesday April 10. Participants will get to see DNA in both its physical and digitally processed form, and those who bring laptops will have the opportunity to analyze the DNA data prepared by the class!
Spring Lectures and Workshops

By Sarah Alford, Programs and Education Assistant

Spring is just around the corner, and here at the JCRA we are gearing up for a season packed full of informative classes and workshops. Starting March 19 and running every Monday through April 30, Bryce Lane will be hosting a lecture series on the history of gardening . People have been gardening since the beginning of civilization but it hasn't always looked like it does today! This series will focus on the fascinating past of plants and the impacts that a diverse group of cultures has had on our modern understanding of horticulture. Topics of interest include the oldest botanic gardens in the world, an overview of important American horticulturists, and the surprising historical importance of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee, and more. Register today and gain perspective for your gardens!

Thinking about implementing a fresh design for your garden this spring? Join artist, educator, and landscape designer Preston Montague on April 28 for a class on improving curb appeal through foundation plantings . Preston will introduce the strategies professional landscapers use when planning and implementing new designs. As part of registration, you can also choose to sign up for a practicum. These one-on-one sessions provide the perfect opportunity to get the advice of a design professional for the specific challenges your home landscape faces! Space is limited, so sign up today.

After all your hard work prepping for the new growing season, make sure to take some time off to relax. Join Pam Chance on Saturday, April 28 to learn more about horticulture therapy and enjoy a day of self-care. Horticulture therapy utilizes plants in order to benefit your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual well-being, and participants in this program will learn about the myriad of ways gardening can have that positive impact! Participants will leave feeling refreshed and full of new creative energy to apply to their gardens. Make sure to schedule time for yourself and register online today!

Photograph by Cbaile19 (Wikimedia)
Everything Is Better at Camp

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

The brief spells of warm, sunny weather are making us long for camp days that are coming soon. Luckily, we are being kept busy with camp registration where we are starting to meet this year’s group of campers. Registrations have been flying in! Even before public registration began, Garden Chefs camp was full. On the first day of public registration, two more camps filled. As I write this, we have five of seven camps filled and only a handful of spots remain in our Garden Explorers and Project Plants camps. If you've been on the fence about signing up your child for camp, now is the time.
Rising 4th and 6th graders will be transformed into citizen scientists during a week of Garden Explorers camp. They spend the week learning about observation skills, nature journaling, and taking real data to contribute to projects being conducted by scientists.
Project PLANTS is new to our lineup of camps, but not new to the gardens. As a grant funded pilot program the past three years, Project PLANTS has become an example of how middle school camps can engage students at the same time as increase their interest in science. Rising 7th and 8th graders climb aboard each day for field trips to local spots like the Bayer Bee Care Center and local community farms. When they return to the Arboretum, campers explore topics through garden activities and building projects. Kick your middle schooler out of the house for a week this summer so they can grow their love of nature and science all while making new friends at the JCRA!
Hedge Shear Angel

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

We are hoping that a JCRA angel will donate a corded electric hedge shear.

One goal in our ongoing renovation of the White Garden is to bring the sheared dwarf yaupon holly hedges into much greater uniformity of height and width as well as cutting them back off of the pavement. One powered hedge shear will greatly speed up this process over the manual hedge shears which the JCRA currently owns. As this is one of the very few places where such a tool would be used, we are not looking for a Rolls Royce model, just a good basic one.

The Little Wonder 24" electric hedge shear ($430) as seen on the A. M. Leonard Web site is a very nice machine. Thank you very much in advance.

Contributions can be made online and by calling Kathy Field at (919) 513-0264. When making an online donation for the shears, please send an e-mail to Kathy at kathy_field@ncsu.edu to let her know that you made a contribution towards the sheers.
Browse and Buy Books

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

Do you have extra garden books around your house? Did you know that you can donate them to the Arboretum? Last year at Raulston Blooms!, we raised over $400 by selling used books to garden enthusiasts. You never know what you will find. Bring your books to donate to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center Monday Friday during business hours, or call Kathryn Wall at (919) 513-7004 to make alternate arrangements. If you wish to receive a tax donation form, please complete an in-kind donation form (available in the McSwain Center) and provide a list of books and estimated values.
Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Check out This Returning Raulston Blooms! Treat

By Sarah Alford, Programs and Education Assistant

The JC Raulston Arboretum's Annual Birdhouse Competition is one of this spring's most colorful and fun garden events. Adult competitors wield their creative or technical prowess by entering in either Flight of Fancy or Serious categories. Some ambitious competitors choose to attempt both since there is no limit on the number of birdhouses an individual can enter! Youth competitors enter categories based on their ages (4-16). Ultimately, the event's goal is to raise awareness about birds and their habitats here in the Southeast, while simultaneously raising awareness about the JCRA's goal to teach and inspire garden enthusiasts. 

The competition is open to all ages and free to enter. Birdhouse builders will also receive a free ticket to attend Raulston Blooms! Birdhouse entries will be received on Friday, April 6 from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, with judging starting at 6:30 PM. Please inquire about dropping off entries earlier. The competition will be open for public viewing and voting on Saturday, April 7 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM during Raulston Blooms!, with the enviable Visitors' Choice Award going out after viewing closes. For more information about how to enter a birdhouse or choose a competition category or age group, please visit the JCRA's Web site . 
Upcoming Events
Arboretum Guided Tours
Volunteer Tour Docents
Sundays, March 4, 11, 18, and 25

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Monday, March 5 (continued from January and February)
6:30 PM
Registration closed

Spring is Budding
Tuesday, March 6
10:00 AM

"Signs of Spring"
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, March 6
1:00 PM

"The History of Gardening: How Cultures, Events, and People Made Gardening What It Is Today"
Thursday, March 8
7:30 PM

Saturday, March 10
9:00 AM

"Wide Angle"
Susan Bailey, Susan Bailey Photography
Thursday, March 15
2:00 PM

Cohosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society
"Extinct Plants of North America"
Wesley Knapp, North Carolina Natural Heritage Program
Saturday, March 17
10:00 AM

Saturday, March 17
1:00 PM

Saturday, March 17
2:30 PM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, March 19 and 26 and April 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30
6:30 PM

Friday, March 23
8:30 AM

Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, March 24
9:00 AM

"Poisonous Plants"
Dennis Drehmel and Wayne Carlson, Wake County Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers
Monday, March 26
10:00 AM

Tuesday, March 27-Friday, March 30
10:00 AM- 3:00 PM and
Saturday, March 31
10:00 AM-2:00 PM

Wednesday, March 28
10:30 AM

Thursday, March 29
10:00 AM

✽Denotes a children's program.

Many programs require advance registration. Please register early to reserve your spot.

Other Dates to Remember

Thursday, March 8
9:00 AM–3:00 PM

A Garden Festival for All Ages
Includes the JCRA Spring Plant Sale and 18th Annual Birdhouse Competition
Saturday, April 7
9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Sunday, May 6
2:30 PM–6:00 PM
Coming Attractions
By Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
Cercis canadensis 'Ace of Hearts'
compact eastern redbud
Magnolia 'Coral Lake'
Leach hybrid magnolia
Halesia diptera var. magniflora
Florida silverbell
Narcissus 'Pappy George'
jonquilla daffodil
Rhododendron canescens 'Varnadoes Phlox Pink'
Piedmont azalea
Corylopsis sinensis
Chinese winterhazel
Paeonia suffruticosa 'Shimadaijin'
tree peony
Daphne genkwa
lilac daphne
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
One new video was recorded in February and posted to our YouTube Channel . Look for it on our channel or click the graphic below.

Receive announcements about our latest additions by subscribing to our YouTube Channel .
Your Membership Makes a Difference
Please Join or Renew Today!

The JC Raulston Arboretum is free to the public, but it is not free to operate. Memberships keep the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the Arboretum's daily operations and vital for its success. Thank you for your support and advocacy of the JC Raulston Arboretum through the membership program. It's fast and easy to become a Friend of the Arboretum, and there are many great benefits for you and your family. Join or renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Kathryn Wall, membership and volunteer coordinator, at (919) 513-7004 or kbwall@ncsu.edu .
Christopher Todd Glenn
Programs and Education Coordinator
Sarah Alford
Programs and Education Assistant
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 513-7005

You're receiving this e-mail because you're a member of the JC Raulston Arboretum. JCRA e-Updates are published electronically every month. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Kathryn Wall at (919) 513-7004 or kbwall@ncsu.edu . Please do not use the links below to update your e-mail address or to unsubscribe.